It wasn’t quite a blast from the past but it was as near as dammit.  Justin Rose, most people’s favourite Englishman (though born in Johannesburg), popped up from goodness knows where to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Monday (inclement weather).  It was four years on from his last victory, at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the pictures tell you just what it means to win again and show yourself – and everybody else that you’re not past it – far from it.

Justin letting it all out, the elation, the delight, the frustration [PGA Tour]

After all, he’s only 42, it is a Ryder Cup year and he has been on three winning teams.  He missed the rout two years ago at Whistling Straits, when the Americans outplayed the Europeans by some margin and should be brushing up his Italian for the match in Rome in September. I’ve just put Duolingo on my phone and feel confident I’ll be well able to order a coffee come the autumn.  And a golfer must always be looking for some useful way of passing the time during those weather delays.

Now, no doubt, being a model professional for the guts of a quarter of a century, Justin had been beavering and tinkering away – he changed his irons just before the tournament started – and I just hadn’t been paying enough attention to realise that he was due a win.  Then, boom.

“Time flies by, doesn’t it?” the champion, the first Englishman to win this venerable title, said.  “It’s amazing how long it has been.  This is just a moment to say thanks to the people that believe in me more than probably I do.  My team have been incredible, obviously my family at home – Kate, Leo, Lottie, this one’s for you, I wish you were here with me.    What a place to win a tournament, unbelievable.”

He was talking about Pebble Beach, a course that is on many people’s bucket list and has ocean views to take the mind off the golf if it’s less than stellar.  But don’t worry too much if you can’t make it to California in the immediate future – we have plenty of great seaside courses in Britain and Ireland to be going on with, at a fraction of the price.  And not so much of a carbon footprint either.

Royal Portrush isn’t short of spectacular views.

Whittington is about as far from the sea as you can get in this country – and that’s not too far in global terms – but the views can still be stunning.   I played early the other Monday – my partner/opponent works and can’t just rock up any old time – and it was glorious, even getting warm enough to start shedding layers.  The halfway house was open – not something that happens on a Tuesday, when the course is packed with women; presumably most of us roll past without making the detour but I know I’d be tempted to have a tea or a coffee (per favore) and as the course is routed at the moment, we have two goes at calling in.  It would be nice to have the option…

A glorious winter’s day inland.

I was still on a bit of a high that day, having watched the sainted Harry (Kane) score his 267th goal for Spurs on the Sunday, to become the club’s all-time record goalscorer, overtaking the legend that was Jimmy Greaves and, just as important, to beat Manchester City 1-nil.

Greaves’s record had stood for more than half a century, so, injuries permitting, by the time Harry’s finished, it’ll take a monumental effort to overtake him.  Who knows how long he’ll stay with us but perhaps we could win the FA Cup or the Champions’ League this season and hang on to him for a wee while more.  That’s football fans for you:  always dreaming!

The downside of Sunday was that it consolidated Arsenal’s position at the top of the league but, as Dad was for ever reiterating “every result makes someone happy”.  Mmmmm…

Harry Kane, he’s one of our own – and out on his own.

I stayed with friends in Welwyn on Saturday, arriving in time to watch most of Wales v Ireland (not quite as relaxing as I’d anticipated after our early blitz but a good win nonetheless – Mo and I were in Cardiff the last time we won there, the Grand Slam match of 2009) and all of England v Scotland.  What a cracking Calcutta Cup and what a delight to enjoy a game as a neutral, sort of.  Dad’s mother was a Scot, from Lossiemouth and one of his cousins “nearly played for Scotland”, so I was a bit biased.    Mind you, we have to go to Murrayfield and that’s always tough; not sure I’ve ever been there when we’ve won…

It was Scotland’s third successive win over England in the Six Nations and former Scotland captain Peter Brown, one of Maureen’s golfing pals, was delighted to have an earlier record matched.  In 1972, he’d led the team that beat England for the third Five Nations in a row.  The year before, at Twickenham, he’d converted Chris Rea’s last-minute try to win 16-15 and he had a great record against England:  played 8, won 5, lost 2, drawn 1.  Even so, that was trumped by his late brother Gordon, who won 6 of the 8 matches he played against England.

“He’d always mention that,” Peter said, in a lovely piece by Alasdair Reid in The Times.  “That would be his greeting to me.”

Maureen with rugby legend PC Brown (left) and Rob Nothman, the man responsible for her career with a microphone [snapper unknown]